US Marine Corps in the Second World War

US Marine Corps in the Second World War

Michael Green
ARRSE Rating
4.5 Mushroom Heads
The old cliché of “A picture paints a thousand words” still holds true. If you are interested in looking at the hardware of amphibious warfare, or want to see what the men who carried out their herculean tasks looked like (without getting bogged down in pages of text), then this book is for you.

Part of the well-established “Images of War” series, “The US Marine Corps in World War 2” is a fairly detailed collection of photos covering the USMC experience in the Pacific between 41 and 45. It’s a 8 ” by 9 ½” soft cover book printed on good quality paper, displaying a representative collection of black and white photos with fairly informative captions of varying length between a line and several paragraphs. 225 pages long and containing hundreds of photos (generally three pictures between each two page spread), the book follows the course of the war in chronological order, with sections on specific campaigns or events (Wake Island, Midway and so on through to Iwo Jima and Okinawa).

The selection of pictures has been very well done, with a clear narrative arc linking them in each section. No mean feat for a picture book! On the topic of content, there are pictures of dead bodies (both Marines and enemy) interspersed throughout. Considering this, I didn’t feel that it degenerated into warporn; those pictures merely show a core part of the events being portrayed and to leave them out would have not allowed a full appreciation of what happened.

Although there is a lot of concentration on the weapons, vehicles and equipment displayed, there are a fair few thought provoking and evocative pictures included in this volume; one which particularly grabbed me was that of a young Marine Artilleryman, looking like he’d last slept sometime in the thirties, taking a minute’s break from crewing his gun. It really summed up the utter exhaustion imbued by operations for me.

Amazon product

There’s not really much more to say; it very much does what it says on the tin. 4/5 mushroom heads, well worth buying if war photos are your thing and you’ve got a hard on for jarheads.
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